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tv   Senator Bill Cassidy Town Hall Meeting  CSPAN  July 1, 2017 5:53am-7:01am EDT

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that time. the opportunity to have contact with people of another class. that is the melding of the black middle class in detroit. >> join in on our live, three-hour conversation with mr. in, emailing in, or leaving comments on social media. announcer: senator bill cassidy held a town hall meeting with constituents in baton rouge, louisiana, along with state and federal officials who answered questions about flood damage and recovery efforts. senator cassidy also discussed the health care law replaced and -- replacement bill. the town hall ran one hour. [applause]
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sen. cassidy: we are going to talk about many things. one thing i want to make sure we address our concerns people have about recovery from the great floods of 2016. that said, we have folks here that have resources, or at least explanations. i want to ask them to speak first. then i will ask different people to comment. we are going to go around. if at any point you feel like you would be better off talking to fema than listening to this conversation, i will consider it more appropriate that you stand up and walk over and speak to fema, because we need to have your needs addressed. also, before i go forward, is my staff around? are they still circulating? i have three beautiful woman back there. they all specializes in casework for folks who are flood victims.
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brian andrew are back there. dale, are you here? he does casework. he may come in later. who am i seeing? catherine stewart back there. so, if there is an issue in particular that you think one of our staff can help you with, i need to go seek them out. i will tell you that scripture says the greatest among you shall be your servants. our office desires to be the greatest servant. may desire to serve you as citizens of louisiana and the united states, so give them the opportunity. that said, and a particular order, do we want to come speak? kathy is not here. you are speaking for her. >> good afternoon. my name is casey tingle. i work for the governor's office
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of homeland security and emergency preparedness. really quickly this afternoon, i wanted to update you a little bit on hazard mitigation funding that will be coming to the state from fema. we manage that program on behalf of the state. i wanted to let you know that we are going to be working with the parishes, and in particular east baton rouge parish, on utilizing that funding to address drainage improvement and flood protection type projects that better protect you and our citizens in the years to come. that funding is not really recovery funding in terms of fixing what happened. you will hear more about programs relative to that. but those mitigation dollars are in place to help better protect us moving forward. to reduce the risk of the type of flooding we had last year and so many of you are familiar with. if you have got specific questions on that, i will be hanging around after the event and happy to address any of
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those questions you might have or to speak with you one-on-one about grant assistance programs you may have questions about. thank you. >> hi. i am bill, a native louisianan. i've been working with the state to help prepare for disasters, as well as working the recovery issues from the flood. i have a lot of folks here in the back come out in the lobby that will be able to entertain individual questions or issues you might have with fema, including national flood insurance, as well as individual assistance programs that we have. we will have those folks in the back during that time. i want to take the opportunity to make sure you are ready for hurricane season. we have a website called ready.gov that you can use to get yourself ready for hurricane season.
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we already had tropical storm cindy. we weathered that storm. hurricane season isn't over until november, so just make sure you are prepared. if you have issues that we can discuss with fema, i have folks in the back that are experts in each of those programs that can help you through that. i will turn it back over. >> hello, my name is pat forbes. i'm the executive director of the louisiana office of community development. our job is to help distribute funds that hud and congress send to us for recovery from disasters. the governor, senator cassidy, the rest of the delegation have worked very hard to get some $1.7 billion allocated to the state of louisiana for recovery from the floods in march and august. our job now is to distribute that and get it to the people
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who need it. the biggest piece of that is our homeowner program. we have a program. if you are a homeowner and your primary residence was at home, and you flooded, with very have very potentially funds to help you, even if you rebuilt. even if you make $1 million a year. even if you have not started. because of the last appropriation we just got, we have up until that point not accept it -- you were ineligible if you had structural flood insurance. now, we are able to start opening the gate for even people who had flood insurance, but still have unmet needs. so, my main message here today is, we have a survey, an online survey that is the first step in applying for assistance through
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this program. you have to fill out the survey. you can do that online at restore.la.gov. you can call 866-735-2001 if you have not filled out the survey. we have folks out in the hall right now with computers, and they can fill it out for you, as we need today. it is critical that you fill the survey out. there are a few reasons. one, you may be eligible even if you do not take so. you might be wrong. , even if you are not eligible right now, you may very well be eligible in the future as more funds are available. three, senator cassidy, the governor, and the rest of the delegation need the information we are gathering through this survey to go back to congress and explain why we need more money for this recovery.
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so, the big message is here, please fill out the survey. it can help you, your neighbors, the state. we have been telling people it takes about 15 minutes, but some folks have been telling me it only takes three or four minutes to fill out. you do not need to have any information. it is easy. if you have your fema id number, that's great. you don't need it. go online and fill out the survey. at that point, we invite people in to applications. we are doing this in phases so it doesn't impact your recovery , and we can get to you quickly once we invite you into application. we have already sent out some 9000 invitations to get in the program. we will be sending more out. out, it do not fill it
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has negative impact on how the program is done, yes? >> thank you, sir. if we don't understand where you are in your recovery, we don't have the full picture and we can't tell the story in washington about how our recovery is short. we have to hear from you. if you have neighbors, friends, family who were flooded and were homeowners, please ask them if they have filled out the survey. tell them that our community needs this. we need everybody we can to fill this service -- this survey out so that we can get the information we need help folks. programs for rental housing. if you were the owner of a rental housing unit from one to seven units when the flood it, and you flooded, we can give you money to take out your construction loan that you have
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gotten to get your apartment back in service. we want to do that. the second part of that is, what we require for the money is that you rent to people of low to moderate income at affordable rates. you are going to reduce your rent for a while for the purpose of getting our funds and getting those units back in place. we have got a multifamily unit rental program. we have got a small business program. all of these are on restore.la.gov, and you can get information about where to go. sen. cassidy: here is sharing -- sharon robinson, helping people to sign up. tell them how easy it is. >> i've been helping coordinate members. i did not personally flood, but a lot of people not being computer literate, helping them with that. it takes six to seven minutes. information you need is the
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number of people in your household, the amount of income in your household, and then 10 minutes or less and you are done. sen. cassidy: any questions for pat? yes ma'am. [inaudible] sen. cassidy: thank you. the question is about people who took out sba loans. i am sorry that i do not have good news for you on that. we have tried and tried to get on the stafford act rule
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that the loan is just like a grant. i will explain some numbers to maybe make it a little easier. if you had $50,000 worth of damage in your home of flood damage and got a $25,000 sba loan, we can't replace whatever portion of that loan was for structural repair. we can replace anything that was for contents or other aspects of the house. we can also cover the unmet need above $25,000 that you borrowed. but we cannot replace the sba loan. federal law considers that a duplication of federal benefits. i'm sorry, we have not been able to get a different answer. >> we have attempted to address that as well in washington. first under the obama
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administration and now again, but that is federal law. yes ma'am? >> [inaudible] i spoke to the loan officer who made my loan, and he referred me to the servicing center in el paso, texas. both of those people told me that sba does not consider those loans as duplicate benefits as long as the money for reimbursement follow item seven of your loan document. i have copies of that. i have given it to your office and to several legislatures already. basically, what it says is that the reimbursement needs to be assigned to the sba for the loan to be paid down. that's what two different sba officers told me this week. >> all i can say -- i'm sorry, all i can say is that it is
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exactly the opposite of what hud, sba, multiple -- i'm sorry. i can't -- >> [inaudible] we signed a document with sba, no one else. sen. cassidy: michael, hold up your hand. dale is back there. those are two caseworkers. ma'am, if you could connect with michael or dale, let them get your information, and we will try to get to the bottom of it for you. there's a gentleman back here that had a question. just a second, ma'am. >> i'm 71 years old. i lost four pieces of property and two businesses. i pay plenty of taxes. it was not raining when my house flooded. my house is four feet higher than where it should have been. sba wants me to borrow money for contractors that rip me off.
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and i have to fix my other houses. sba already told me that i was approved. my credit score was 825. they told me already i could get almost any amount of money i need. but the thing about it is that they send me money, but i sent it back because i have it. they would give me food stamps. they wouldn't do nothing. fema gave me $12,000. i appealed it. all the neighbors got the max. i got $12,000, and i'm 71. i want to know what lawyers i can use -- [inaudible] i wasn't supposed to flood. i am four feet higher than i'm supposed to be.
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than everyone else. sen. cassidy: our neighborhood landlord rental program, you would be eligible for that. go to restore.la.gov or go to the louisiana housing corporation and talk to them about the landlord program. we can give you money to take out on whatever loan you did to do construction. sen. cassidy: one more time, neighborhood landlord program. >> thank you. sen. cassidy: the pastor was saying people are not moving back to the rental properties, so obviously we needed program to get folks back into their rental properties which is good for this area. >> and we've got it. $36 million available for people -- >> [inaudible] >> no, sir. it is a forgivable loan as long as you applied affordable, low period ofsing for a time.
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if you provide that, you do not have to pay anything back. >> [inaudible] >> as long as you can demonstrate it flooded and that you got it back in shape. all we really care about is providing the affordable rentals for a certain period of time. sen. cassidy: jennifer is passing out information. if you need more info, you can -- >> [inaudible] sen. cassidy: can i pause for a second? we will take some more questions. >> louisiana resource told me if i borrow any money from sba, they were going to take all that out of what it cost me to fix my own house. >> that's right. that's the same answer i had before. i'm sorry it's not different. we've asked and asked, but an sba loan -- we can't replace that with the grant.
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sen. cassidy: we are going to take some more questions. let me do what i should have done off the back and say thank you. i want to thank the pastor and this church for hosting. i told him he should pass out the plate for a love offering. [laughter] he said, don't tempt him. cynthia, wherever you are, my staff says you are fantastic. i see miss helen answering the phones, so thank you all is well. i want to thank law enforcement. we saw steve scalise gunned down. in phoenix, we saw the congresswoman and others injured. bank -- so, i
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thank law enforcement. when i first came to this church at montrell jackson ceremony, all of us should thank our law enforcement and others. give them a big round of applause. [applause] erica green? right there. judge pamela johnson, are you still here? thank you. wonderful to see you. and then, state representative edmond jordan looking as young as i once did. but no longer. ted james is back here. he is usually giving me heck on twitter.
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i am in church, so i guess i should say giving me heaven. i also want to thank a woman -- i don't know her name. i was having a townhall and someone submitted a question. she said, as i recall, "we flooded in north baton rouge and there's not been a federal official who has come to north baton rouge." i looked at my staff and said we are going to north baton rouge. this is during work hours. there are some folks working now. so, we will also have one at central. if you're getting off of work, you can go to one. if you are at work, you can go to the other. but i mean it. we are here to serve y'all. [applause] cassidy: thank you.
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i can promise you, we may disagree on issues, but we probably don't disagree as much as you might think we do. what we can agree upon is that folks in this neighborhood who flooded need to have the assistance that allows them to restore their life in a way which restores the community. as one example, because this topic will come up later, i think all of you know -- or many of you may know -- i work at a hospital for many years, taking care of the uninsured. and so, we have a common goal of how we provide health care to all americans in a way which meets their needs? [applause] >> [inaudible] [applause] sen. cassidy: bill, do you want to come up?
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excuse me. we will talk health care, but this was originally for those folks who are trying to put their lives back together who have not yet been able to. i will do the first part of this for those such folks. by the way, is there a woman here, virginia johnson? virginia johnson is the friend of a close family friend of ours. let me give this question to whomever. it rained. had a leak in her roof. it ruin her ceiling. i am told she got $900 to fix to fixling but nothing the roof which had been damaged by the storm, so the damage to the ceiling continues. this seems a crazy sort of program. i know there's an explanation. i am only transmitting a question that was put through
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miss johnson to our friend, to me, to y'all. is there a way to address that? >> depends on if that was pre-existing damage. n/a k-3 have pre-existing damage that wasn't caused by the storm, that is not eligible -- if you have a case where you have pre-existing damage that wasn't caused by the storm, that is not eligible. fema does not provide everything. fema is there to get you safe and secure so you can recover. we don't provide the full recovery.
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if somebody does have a question regarding that, we have our individual assistant folks out at the tables in the back. they are right behind the doors out there outside in the lobby. if you have your fema number, they can look up your case. they can look up your individual situation and address it one-on-one with you to make sure you understand what the program is and if there is an issue. it is always a peelable -- it is always appealable. there may be another way through voluntary agencies. >> i just want to say that under the homeowner program, it doesn't matter. if you flooded in one of the two floods and you access assistance from our program, it doesn't matter whether damage was caused by the flood or not. when our program leaves, we have a little more flexibility than fema. when we leave, your house will be safe and sanitary. it doesn't matter in the homeowner program whether the damage occurred from the storm are not, as long as you did have damage from the storm and meet the other criteria.
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sen. cassidy: to put a point on it. virginia johnson, if it is leaking through the roof even if it was pre-existing and continues to be ruined, can receive assistance through the program. you can sign up. my staff tells me we just put the survey on our facebook page. you may have to wade through a lot of comments from people who don't particularly like me. or you can come down here and speak to sharon. she can get you connected. there,re also folks out but you need to register, correct? oh, just sign up. you don't even have to do the survey. you can just go out there and sign up. velma, where are you? talk to us. >> i'm a widow. i had heart surgery and live by myself.
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with the roof, it was raining inside. i had to put a bucket down. i need a whole new roof and i don't have any income to fix it. i need help. sen. cassidy: same answer? she can go register? her roof is just totally messed up. assuming that you are eligible for the program, which means you a foot of water or more -- >> [inaudible] >> so the storm knocked the shingles off the roof.
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is it not the roofing off, that would be fema individual assistance issue -- if it knocked the roofing off, that would be a fema individual assistance issue. it sounds like you may not be eligible for the homeowner program if you did not have one foot of water. sen. cassidy: get michael's card over there. if you feel like you could appeal the fema ruling, he is the gentleman, or dale, who could address that. yes ma'am? is there -- investigation as far as the flooding -- because my home never flooded before -- how do we prevent future problems? what are we doing to prevent future flooding in our areas? every time it rains, people are paranoid now. so, what are we doing with the drainage systems? is this in any way associated with the flood mapping that was done in 2008, where a lot of
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properties that weren't in the flood area are now considered in the flood area even though they not -- they may not have flooded? is that associated? sen. cassidy: this was considered a 1000 year flood. we are told it will not impact our future flood maps. it is really considered a one off. again, i grew up in baton rouge. used to play on the jet in howell park when i was a boy. i told pastor i had never seen this area with standing water. it was just amazing. one, we know there was a lot of water. secondly, what we can say compared to when i was a little boy -- maybe you weren't born yet -- is a lot of land that was not developed is now developed.
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land that used to absorb water in the dirt now has concrete on it, and instead of being absorbed in the dirt, it runs off into the drainage ditches, and those drainage ditches quickly backup. one example, i went to a meeting with the army corps of engineers, and they said we had authorization for 40 years to clean out wards creek to make it drain better. i said, you can't do that. 40 years ago, prairieville was nothing more than a prairie. now, prairieville is where thousands of homes are. so, they said they are going to do a basin wide analysis of what can be done. we know that the problem has kind of grown bit by bit. it may take a bit by bit solution. diversion the comey
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probably would have helped this area. oh yes, hello. governor edwards asked president obama's administration for money to complete that, and for whatever reason, the obama administration decided not to do that. we did subsequently get on the last budget bill $6.7 million to begin it. if we can get the comey diversion going, that would be a major help in preventing this area from flooding once more. lastly, i will say that we are working on a new flood insurance program. i'm working with democratic senator from new york, kirsten gillibrand. we have, i think, a very good bill. in it we have $4 billion a year for so-called flood litigation. if there is -- so-called flood mitigation. if there is something a community can do to decrease their risk of flooding so that you don't have to pay out flood insurance premiums, we think it is a very good bill.
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we don't know if it is going to be our bill that passes, but everyone else is copying off our bill, so we think ultimately most of it get through. we are hoping the diversion, the coursework for the basin wide analysis, as well as the $400 million per year that would come out of our bill if it is approved, could all be used by this community and others to lower the risk of flooding. on the other hand, sea levels are rising. we can anticipate at least coastal areas to have more flooding. it is going to be a nationwide issue for a while. she is asking about what kind of timeframe -- >> [inaudible] -- my house flooding, i know the drainage system has been cut off or blocked for some reason. i am trying to understand how could i have two drains in my yard and my house still floods?
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something had to have been done before to divert the water. how are we preventing that, and what --? sen. cassidy: some of these may be for your councilwoman and state rep. just because some of that is going to be local implementation of federal dollars. yes ma'am? >> there's a couple of things i think can help prevent. , before we had the cement ground, that was a good point, but the rivers were dredged. all of our waterways were dredged out so that it widened. that hadn't been done. i don't know whose fault that is. it could be part parish, part federal, part state. has a piece of this
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pie. we need those rivers dredged out and widened and deepened to a ccomodate the change in the sea flow and every thing else. it is up to us, as well. i can't tell you how many people in my subdivision cut the grass and then put the trash in the drain. that's got to go somewhere. if you are living with two drains, that means everybody around you is putting that trash or that weeds or whatever. we have got to start living like a community again. we have got to start living like a community. the last part, how do we stop building out into our how pastors and the land? how do we stop building out into our farmland to save it to be the area where water can go? that has got to be a federal, state something. [applause]
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sen. cassidy: one aspect of this is, for example, one thing i think the corps is going to do, the reason water wasn't flowing rapidly enough that the reason water wasn't flowing rapidly enough is there was all this brush. they said they would clear that out. secondly -- >> when? >> when? sen. cassidy: i will check with the corps on that and post it. it was my understanding that the process should have already begun. in terms of dredging, that's a little bit more complicated , because the dredging, you need army corps of engineers permits. your kid is born and going to college sometimes by the time you get the permit. we have to have an extradited permit process so it doesn't
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take forever to get that done. lastly, regarding zoning laws, those laws are not federal, although you do have to get army corps permits for some things. those are typically more local and state. ma'am, you had your arm up. just a second. >> for community development, he said if you have one feet of water at least. i know i had one feet of water, but when fema came out they said i had six inches of water. i sent photographs. i had another contractor come out, and they still denied me an appeal. they said that was their final answer. but i know i had more than six inches of water. how do you go against that? >> if you have photos, that becomes a question of fact. dale or michael, get their card. grab a card, and we can help you if you feel as if you need to speak with fema.
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let us see if we can help you. yes. >> trump's budget has no corps of engineer money for louisiana right now. so how are we going to be able to get a study done? sen. cassidy: there will be money for the corps of engineers. thank you. may i sneak by? thank you. >> this the situation. you are 72 years old. you had flood insurance. the mortgage company took the flood insurance money to pay the mortgage off. you asked them not to do it, because you need to fix your house but they took it anyway. you've got to restore louisiana, fema, everywhere you can go. everywhere they turn you down. now, fema is saying we've got a trailer. saying in to fix
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the house. but everyone i went to for help has turned me down. where do i go? sen. cassidy: i'm sorry, i apologize. ok. bill, did you hear that? you want to comment, ma'am? >> that may be a case where pat's program can help you up at restore louisiana. as far as fema's programs, we just get you safe and secure. it is not going to fix everything.
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in some cases you get turned down because you had insurance, but you can always appeal that. i have my folks in the back that can help you with that to look up your fema number and see if it is still appealable or not. >> i am just going to reiterate, most people with flood insurance right now are not eligible for the restore program because we just didn't have enough money to cover everybody. i will tell you we just added the phase one people who have flood insurance. that is if you are low to moderate income and either elderly or have persons with disabilities living in your household, and you live outside the 100-year floodplain. you could be eligible. we are continuing to expand that eligibility as we get more money. please fill out the survey. don't give up on restore even if you are not eligible right now, which is likely. >> [inaudible] sen. cassidy: have you spoken to the restore people? >> to you what, -- i tell you
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what, if you would come see us at the table outside -- [inaudible] sen. cassidy: yes ma'am? >> hi, mr. cassidy. i'm really concerned about pre-existing conditions and health care. that's what i came for. [applause] i flooded also, but i want to know if you are going to vote for this health care that trump has right now. what can you do to stop this foolishness? [applause] sen. cassidy: when president trump ran for office, president trump said he wished that all continued to be covered, to care for those with pre-existing conditions, to eliminate the mandates from obamacare, and to lower premiums.
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the bill we are going to vote on has not yet been revealed. the legislation you spoke of has been superseded. frankly, we have not yet seen what the legislation will be upon which we voted -- upon which we will vote. >> why is everything so private? the question is why are things so private. i do not defend the process. i don't. i just don't. on the other hand, what i can say is that the concern regarding pre-existing conditions has been one that i have been expressing, and others have been expressing, and i will judge the final product as to how well it addresses the issue of pre-existing conditions. i was going to wait until 15 till to take health care questions. let's just see if there is one more flood insurance question.
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yes ma'am, in the way back. >> [inaudible] sen. cassidy: what is the turnaround rate for restore louisiana? are you still back there, pat? ok. >> [inaudible] sen. cassidy: right. you said you are in phase three? the question is, she sent in her survey right at the very beginning, and she hasn't been invited to apply yet. i will restate -- we are going through all of our survey respondents in phases.
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the first phase is low to moderate income people -- first two phases are low to moderate income people who are either elderly or have a person with disabilities living in our household. we sent out invitations to every single phase one and two survey completion already. we are about halfway through phase three. if you haven't gotten an email from us and you filled out the survey, and our response says you are in phase three, you should be getting an female -- and email from us inviting you to apply within the next couple of weeks. >> [indiscernible] i was told we haven't gotten to phase three yet. fine, ok.
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[indiscernible] i checked again because i still haven't heard anything. i would hear something again by july 30. [indiscernible] >> that's right. >> i did it in april, and i am getting the runaround. >> i'm sorry. look, this recovery takes longer than anybody likes. i promise you that. the reason you are getting any mail every month is because we want to at least let people know where they are -- >> [inaudible] >> i'm sorry about the language. what it really means to tell you is we still have you in the system, and you are coming up. what i know is that we have sent about half of phase three invitations out, so it is not shocking to me that you are in phase three and haven't been
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invited to apply yet, but you should be in the next two weeks, if not one week. you should be getting an invitation within days saying, please come fill out the application. you can do it online, you can do it at the housing assistance center. in other words, yes, some folks in phase three have already gotten that invitation and have filled out their application. some folks have not. it is just a random process of selecting another 1000 and sending those invitations out. >> can i get your contact information? >> yes. this gentleman is a vietnam veteran, we spoke with on the way and. -- way in.period
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>> i'm a vietnam veteran, honorable discharge. sen. cassidy: thank you very much for your service. [applause] >> i don't know how many of us in here were born and raised in this area. i know it has never been told on the news or whatever, but i've monitored this rain for years. it is too many wooden fences around baton rouge stopping floodwater. they pump the water out of the mississippi river into all the rain. nobody ever put it on the news. it's man-made water, his -- it's heavenly water. when you pump water 180 miles out, three pumps -- i had different family members that go out and check the canal.
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you've got a hole behind this church right here. it's real deep. i looked at it. how can that water come all the way to flood you? we need to do something. it needs to be told this area was flooded and everything backed up. [inaudible] sen. cassidy: yes sir? >> [inaudible] >> senator, my question is, are you sure we are not going to be so short on the louisiana home shelter program? i'm a contractor. the prime contractor i work for -- i am asking the senator, if
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we are not going to be so short like the louisiana home shelter program. i work as a contractor, and my bill was $11,000, and the state paid the prime contract of $46,000. i want to be sure if this program is going to be better than what happened in the home shelter program. [applause] sen. cassidy: governor edwards has put good people in charge of that program. i can't comment beyond the fact that we have worked on a federal level -- and governor edwards worked with us -- to try and get resources for our state. i will go back to the need to fill out surveys. if it turns out we need more money, the only way we would justify it is if we had enough folks fill out surveys to
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establish the need. so anyway, just to say that, we want it to be adequate. we won't know until it happens, dealing way we can work towards making it adequate is if we all chip in. live like a community. part of that is to establish that if you are one of those who have a need, even if you're need has already been addressed, for those who have not, have them addressed going forward. >> [inaudible] eliminating medicaid. >> health care. sen. cassidy: i am taking the questions now. i am not screening them now. if you wish to chant and keep others from being able to speak or be heard, that is not civil. i ask you, respect the right of others both to speak and be heard. please.
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senator, i have flood insurance. i have hazard insurance. my house flooded and i still haven't got any help at all. sen. cassidy: have you not been paid by the national flood insurance program? >> i have not. this is a similar situation from when i first returned home. i live in central. five days later, the water is gone. ok? there was just a little water standing. we thought that was the only water in the house. well we learned, three weeks later, after everyone is going back, that the water was actually in the walls. it has been hell since then. they had to cut the walls out. we have water lines. you can clearly see that. we have not gotten anything, it is allstate the same.
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-- all stayed the same. they say they have not denied of, but they have not paid either. we are coming up on one year. to have additional moneys out for litigation is horrible. it just doesn't make any sense. i have not contacted fema, because i have flood insurance. i'm not low income, the water that came from the ceiling, like miss johnson talked about, the hazard insurance is saying, well, we are going to apply the storm deductible. that is 20% of the value of my home. that was not that much damage from the ceiling. the major damage came in from the flood that the insurance should cover that is not coming. --is not covering. sen. cassidy: if anyone knows how to use the legal system, it is you. absolutely. let me ask again -- gentlemen come up one of you address that?
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>> i'm sorry, the only thing i can add is that we have heard a lot of stories about folks not getting what they need from their insurance company. i know that southern lsu law school, and other legal services are providing free legal services for a bunch of different things -- >> [inaudible] >> i'm sorry, i'm sorry. but do they charge you, because these people do it for free? but again, get michael's contact, because sometimes just a call from the office makes a difference. and so -- sir, you were raising her hand. sen. cassidy: let me get the microphone here please. >> senator kassidy cook -- , i want to thank you for coming out. what is your take on medicaid and allowing the states to
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control certain parts of the bill president trump is pushing. we have a serious problem in louisiana with health care. i'm just thinking that might take place again somewhere down the line. that is a really good, broad question that we can address the broader question. thank you, sir. we don't know where the final bill will end up. let's just say that. let's talk about what we currently have. the medicaid expansion has been a lot of money for louisiana. let me describe house that has -- how that has worked. for the first few years, the federal taxpayer, which is us through our federal taxes, have been paying 100% of the cost. 100%. that begins to change, i think
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it is next year. i don't think it is this year, i think it is next year. regina, thank you for being here. i think it is next year we begin paying 5% or maybe this year. by 2020, we louisiana taxpayers will be responsible for 10% of the cost for the medicaid expansion. period, new paragraph. when the federal government decided to pay 100%, predictably, state spends a lot of money. it was not their money. it was the federal government's money. as a way to illustrate that, in traditional medicaid, what we have before the expansion, the combined amount of money at the state and federal government put up was $4300 per person.
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4-3-0-0. under the medicaid expansion, the combined amount of money that a stage typically puts up is $6,300. it is 50% more than the traditional medicaid. many of those in the expansion are working. they are healthy enough to work. sicker. that they are it turns out, state paid a lot more. they put a lot of people into the program, too. why do i go through that explanation? to establish that when the state of louisiana begins to have to put up 10% of the cost of the expansion, it is going to be a lot of money. it will be $310 million a year. that is going to be in addition to the amount currently spent. not just our state. in california, their 10% is $2.2 billion a year. that is just 10%.
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the point i make two folks is that our status quo is not really sustainable. in oregon and arkansas, a blue state and a red state, both expanding medicaid, state legislators have recommended either completely getting rid of the expansion or pulling it back to 100% of the federal poverty level, the eligibility, because their states cannot afford that -- the 10% that will be required in 2020. >> [inaudible] if cassidy: so, again [applause] sen. cassidy: again, if we can be civil. >> [inaudible] sen. cassidy: again, sir, if i can finish answering this gentleman's question.
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who i think would like an answer. i believe i am answering pretty thoroughly. to continue. the question is, how do we come up with a sustainable system? >> ask california. sen. cassidy: somebody just yelled single-payer. california suggested a single-payer. california state budget is $200 billion for everything. roads, universities, schools, , alic health units, medi-cal single-payer would cost their state $400 billion. it will be double the cost of their entire budget. i worked at a hospital for 25 years. no offense to my friends who are in the state legislature, and no offense to myself, but you really do not want politicians
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controlling your health care dollars. and i would say -- my experience, again -- please let me talk. sir, i have to ask, no need to be rude. there is no need to be rude. when you find that if the patient has the power, the system lines up to serve the patient. putou look at the bill i forward with susan collins and four other republican senators -- we wish we could get democrats. we fortunately -- unfortunately cannot. we would have each state do what is best for their state. if california love status quo, they can do that. but if the exchange population is not working in louisiana, louisiana would have the ability to do something different. in every scenario, we would devolve power down to the patient. by the way, this gentleman keep shouting about taxes.
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under the cassidy collinsville, we do not do anything for the pay forwards of the obamacare bill. we take them, we use them, and then we do tax reconciliation, which is coming next. that is when all of this can be addressed. it is a pretty generous plan. unfortunately, we have been unable to get others support. would -- -- it did, we again, folks are going about the taxes. some of the taxes that were to be repealed will not be repealed in the bill we finally see. i have not seen it yet, but that is what is being said. >> [inaudible] so, that saidand -- then the question is, what about medicaid itself?
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if you rollback medicaid eligibility and put folks on private insurance, that can be a good thing. because if your credit is adequate for the private insurance -- let me go back to medicaid expansion in louisiana. in louisiana, we are not spending $6,300 per person. we are spending $6,700 per person, which is more than a blue cross blue shield policy would cost. of the same value -- of the same kind of benefit structure. we are spending more in louisiana medicaid expansion then we would for blue cross. medicaid expansion in louisiana is paying blue cross rates. as a woman told me, her daughter is on expansion and would like to continue. she said, i have a hard time finding doctors that will see a medicaid patient. that is because medicaid rates paid doctors typically less than their cost to seeing patients.
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so she struggled to do that. that said, if we can take patients who are currently on medicaid and put them on private insurance, frankly i think that is better. secondly, some of the patients who have been on the medicaid expansion are actually employed and have the option to have insurance through their employer. in this case, taxpayers are paying for somebody's health insurance when they could, indeed, be getting it through their employer. we has taxpayers may decide we -- we as taxpayers may decide we want to give a subsidy to someone who could get their insurance from their employer, but we will pay higher taxes and there will be less money for roads, drink, higher education, and secondary education. [rowdy crowd noise] sen. cassidy: that said -- it is kind of funny i am being thorough.
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and i am getting criticized for talking too much. if we can have access to care that is truly meaningful, going back to president trump's campaign pledge, which is care for pre-existing conditions, eliminate mandates and lower premiums, that would be good. ma'am, what would you like to ask? >> i would like to say that, i filled up the survey and i got a call to come in and do the interview. i got there, i did the interview on the same day i was in the and it said no one could do any work until they come out -- sen. cassidy: you are speaking of what program? the restore program. >> right. >> i signed the paper and was told that nobody else could come in and do any work until they come out and assess the house.
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the same day when i was in the office, i had another catholic charity call and say they were ready to come out and do my floors, kitchen, put my cabinets in and my roof. i had to explain to her they could not come out until that came out. i let her talk to the people in the office. they told me they will pull my file and they would be first to come out. about a month ago, come out and assess my house so they could start the work. so somebody could start the work. i know you know all the rain that has been coming this week. the work that has a ready been done is getting damaged because of the leak coming from the roof. my question is, why does it take so long and why is it that they say nobody else can come help until they come when they are not even coming on time? sen. cassidy: i can say a couple of things. one, i will clarify. if a charitable organization is coming and doing work and not
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charging you for that, there is no reason for you not to let them do that. >> we will address that was training at our folks. that should not be the case. the only thing federal rules say is that if you go to work after you apply, we cannot reimburse you for that. that is why they ask you to stop. taking four weeks to get from application to an inspection does not make sense to me, other than we are just ramping up the inspectors staff in the last three weeks. if i could get information from you, we will check and see where you are. your inspection and valuation of the loss should happen in the next week or two. sen. cassidy: yes, sir. >> thank you for coming today.
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i want to talk about two points you made earlier. the first point about why obama did not get the recovery money. the congress stopped that money. [applause] secondly, you are saying the people here who are speaking out who came to ask questions about health care, because they will be mostly affected, or being cruel or rude for speaking out. i will to you what is rude. kicking 22 million people off of their health care in this country who you know can't afford it. [applause] you worked at the hospital for a long time. you know what people are like at their lowest. to step on their necks by taking them off of their health care at this point, that is cruel. [applause] >> what you need to do is go back to washington, d.c. and stand up for the people who are here and say, we need our help care. [applause]
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sen. cassidy: i am doing my best. to make sure we can eliminate -- care for those with pre-existing conditions, eliminate mandates and lower premiums. that is my commitment, and that is why i am working toward. thank you. so, including that, -- totally -- we are almost 10 minutes past the end time. i know there will be folks frustrated, because you did not ask, but we try to take as many questions as possible. again, my staff is scattered around. we have another town hall meeting later on. thank you for coming. most of all, i thank you so much for coming. as the pastor started off by , this is our democracy in action.
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thank you all for contributing to that democracy. thank you. [rowdy crowd noise] [applause] ♪ today on c-span, washington journal is live next. then the senate intelligence committee holding a hearing on russian interference on democratic. senate leaders discuss efforts to pass a health care replacement bill. the senior writer for the american prospect talks about the democratic party's political strategy and we will talk to
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numbers usa about recent immigration enforcement actions taken by the trump administration. later, bloomberg businessweek's where sutton on the gender wage cap. -- wage gap. good morning. 2017 andurday, july 1, according to a gallup poll, americans level of trust in the news media is very low. only one quarter of americans have strong confidence in newspapers and fewer express confidence in television and online news sources. president donald trump and other white house officials continued to criticize media outlets for their coverage of his administration while some journalists shot back, saying the white house lack of transparency makes their work harder

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